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Discipleship – The Cost and the Glory #discipleship

Jet Plane to NowhereI’ve been posting about discipleship.  How far are you willing to go to follow Christ?  The Lord doesn’t make it sound very convenient.

In my last post we saw that Christ said it involved picking up your cross and following Him.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:26

Most people get tripped up by this verse because they don’t understand the usage of the word hate in the Scripture.  This word has no emotional attachment to it.  It’s just like the word agape, used to convey the idea of love.  Hate is a choice rather than an emotion.

This word hate means a choice to not participate with.  There are times when being a disciple of Christ means that you choose not to participate in every family event.  Maybe it’s a baby shower or a graduation party that’s held on a Sunday morning.

Christ is saying that if you choose to participate with your family over the Lord, then it shows that you’re not a disciple.  You might be a believer who loves God.  But you have yet to choose the high road of discipleship.

Following Christ can be very inconvenient at times.  However, if you want the same results as Christ, you must live as He does.

Jesus also makes the point that we must count the cost of discipleship.

“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:33

If you find your Christian walk to be easy, then you’re not yet a disciple.  The closer you follow to Christ, the harder your choices will become.  But there is a bright side.  The longer you serve the Lord, the easier it will be to make those choices.

It’s all about cultivating an attitude – I am nothing else but a disciple.  It may sound like a tough road, but in the end it’s worth it.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:7-8

The way of discipleship leads to a fulfilled life.  There’s a manifestation of the power of God working through you.  When you live at this level it becomes obvious to all those around you.  Your life shows the fruit of the spirit.

It’s apparent that you couldn’t produce the blessings that you’re walking in.  God is at work in you.  That’s the ultimate goal.  Living as a disciple shows God’s glory.

It’s that glory that will draw others to Christ.  This is what the Christian walk is all about.

Question: How much is the glory of God worth to you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Power of God, Revival

 

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A Child of God

John 1:12-13
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

I can’t think of a greater blessing!  We can be children of God.

This is not for everybody.  You have to want it.  It comes by faith in God and what He has done through Christ.  It has to be received, if we believe in His provision for us on the cross.  If Jesus Christ is our Savior, then we are God’s children.

Some people look at themselves as slaves of God.  Then they get the attitude that it is hard to work for Him.  They have an angry look on their face and act like serving God is the worst thing you could do.

Now I do admit that children are supposed to obey their parents.  In that sense we must “serve” God.  I know that on more than one occasion I accused my parents of treating me as their slave.  The fact is, even when you have to do what you’re told, the parent-child relationship is far superior to that of a master and slave.

This verse tells me that I am not just treated like a child of God.  He doesn’t just call me His son.  It is much greater than that.  I have the right – with all the responsibilities and privileges – to be a child of God.  This is an amazing thought.  God views us as full fledged sons and daughters.  That is why He both blesses and disciplines us.

Spending time with our Father should be the most natural inclination.  It should be where we want to go for love, support, encouragement, and strength.  Spend time with the Lord today, knowing that He wants you to experience the best that being a part of His family has to offer.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Our Common Faith

What is church all about?  Why is it important to attend meetings?

Titus 1:4
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
(NIV)

Many believers have a misconception of what the church is.  They see it in a very self-centered way.

“I go to church because I like the praise and worship.”

“They have a great youth ministry.”

“I get a lot out of the preaching.”

While these are all good things to say about a church, ultimately, they are not the main reason for going.  It is not all about what I get out of it that makes the church important to me.  There is a higher purpose.

The Apostle Paul gives us some insight in his words to Titus.  He calls Titus his son in their common faith.  That speaks volumes to me.  Son.  The church is not just a collection of individuals who happen to meet together to sing some songs and hear a speech.  Because of the blood of Christ imparted to us, we are now a family.  The church is, in fact, a family get-together.

We must see the church as a family unit.  A place where the bonds are more important than the individuals.  Paul calls it their common faith.  It is the family heritage.  Have you ever heard someone say something like, “Everyone in my family has a temper.”  Or maybe, “My family are all very giving people.”  There is a common trait to some families.  To those of us in Christ, it should be our common faith in the Lord.

The church is that place where we pick up and strengthen our family traits.  We start to resemble the Lord as we meet together with His family.  Don’t miss out on the family reunion.  Be a part of the church God has called you to.  Let our common faith be what the world sees in us.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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